Since the appearance of smartphones and the subsequent explosion of mobile apps in the market, low-cost chat and social messaging apps have been proven to be a cheaper alternative to operator-based text messaging via SMS. Traditional SMS text messaging has become old-fashioned with the rise in popularity of these online messaging apps. There are several messaging apps that offer social networking features with improved security. They not only provide the option to send messages, but also offer voice calling, video calling and file-sharing options as well. Many messenger apps offer interesting features like group chats, exchange of graphics, videos, audio messages and even stickers or emoticons. Hers are some of the most popular messaging apps based on the number of monthly active users on both android and iOS devices.
Whatsapp: With over 1.2 billion active users, Whatsapp is the most popular messaging app among smartphone users around the world. This free to use app is very easy to setup using just the phone number. This feature rich app allows users to send text, photos, voice and short video messages to their WhatsApp contacts. The app has continuously added new features like emoji, video calling, and most recently, end-to-end encryption.
Facebook messenger: Social media giant Facebook’s foray into mobile messaging is its messenger app. It is a dedicated messaging app that builds on company’s existing chat network and offers more mobile messaging features. Users can sign in using their facebook account credentials to use the apps features such as send text and voice messages, make voice and video calls to other users. There is also lighter version of the app called Messenger Lite that can run on older Android devices and requires less memory and processing power.
We chat: With over 900 million users, we chat dominates in the Chinese mobile web. This app offers users with features like free instant messaging, video and voice calls, group chat, and multimedia messaging as well.
QQ mobile: This app has over 800 million users and offers a number of unique features. This includes making video calls, send voice messages, texting with emoticons and more. The most interesting feature is Live Translation with a built in translator that supports over 50 languages. The app offers location-based discovery functions to find QQ users nearby and make new friends.
Skype: Microsoft’s Skype is most known for its video and voice call functionality. The app also boasts a robust instant messaging system. It allows users to send text, photos, short video messages to other Skype users, even when they are not online. Skype credits can be used to calls to mobile phones and landlines. It is very popular among companies for its business friendly features in its professional version. Even in the face of stiff mobile competition, this old warhorse has stood the test of time.